|“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion |
raised against the knowledge of God, and
take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
|—2 Corinthians 10:5|
Much of my childhood, and more of my adulthood than I would like to admit, has been lived inside my imagination. By the time I got to Junior High school math class, I had so many gaps in my knowledge, I never caught up. I believe now that when class got boring I would slip into my daydreaming mode and miss whatever happened as the teacher explained important math concepts.
As I worked on my master degree project of studying the effects of inattention in music class, I learned that there are children with ADD (without the hyperactivity component) who behave and seem eager to please teachers, but who spend much of their time far away in thought.
I have also learned that often, our greatest gifting can get derailed by sinful temptations. For example, those with vivid imaginations seem to have creative and sometimes entrepreneurial talents that God wants to use for the benefit of His church, and the world in general. But, Satan tempts them into using their daydreams to disrupt God’s plans.
The Puritan, Richard Sibbes, contrasted the evil and good effects of daydreaming.1
Among the faculties of the soul, much of our unnecessary trouble arises from the imagination… The imagination can see greater happiness in outward good things and a greater misery in outward difficulties than there really is. Many lives are almost nothing but imagination.
He poses the solution to this problem.2
It is necessary that God by his Word and Spirit should erect a government in our hearts to captivate and direct this licentious faculty. To cure this malady, we must labor to bring our soul into obedience to God’s truth and Spirit.
Just as Satan can use the work of our imagination to derail our attention, distort God’s voice, or lead us astray, God can use this tremendous power for good. If we dedicate our thoughts to Him, He can show us truths within His written Word in new ways, direct our creative ideas for the use of His church, and excite us to serve Him in new ways.
Again, Sibbes writes:3
A sanctified imagination makes all creation a ladder to heaven.
|1 Sibbes, Richard, as quoted in Rushing, Richard, editor. Voices. Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2009. p. 170.|
|2 Ibid. p. 170.|
|3 Ibid. p. 207.|